Occupation: DJ, model
Lives: Manhattan, N.Y. and Toronto
When you meet Eva Shaw, you can’t help but ask yourself, “Is this the coolest person I’ve ever met?” (To which the answer is, unequivocally, “Yes!”) The 22-year-old Torontonian DJ by night and a model by day (catch her the Canadian label, Moon’s spring ad campaign) and super friendly to boot. (Even the stylist on our shoot said, “I wish everyone I worked with was this nice!”)
DJ Bambi, as she’s known in the biz, began spinning house tracks four years ago while dating a fellow music nut. She started out playing at house parties, but now thousands dance wildly as she does her thing in packed clubs. “Mixing music started out as a hobby, but over the past six months it’s become pretty much full-time,” she says.
And by full-time, she means all night long, as her sets usually finish by around 6 a.m. “Sometimes I’ll get three hours’ sleep, and then on the other nights, 12. But DJing is so much fun; the crowd gives you energy.”
Even when Eva’s at home in her mid-town Manhattan apartment (she splits her time between New York and Toronto), she spends time mixing her own tracks. “Playing music requires a lot of preparation,” she says. “It’s one thing to be a DJ in your living room and quite another in front of a huge crowd.”
Eva certainly looks the part, clad in her trademark “rock ‘n’ roll vintage” (think army jacket with cut-off sleeves and bright red lips). And she’s always been a music fan. As a child she listened to it while bouncing on a trampoline or sliding across the kitchen floor in her sports socks. “I loved music, and I had a lot of energy!” she says, laughing.
Luckily that’s still the case, because Eva juggles modelling with her DJ work. “People hire me now, because I’m a DJ who models.” (She’s even been spotted in the pages of Vanity Fair.)
Eva was on Toronto’s Danforth Avenue, where she grew up with her parents and brother, when she was scouted for modelling. She was 13. She didn’t work much at first, but by 17 she was spending months at a time in Europe. While grateful for the experience, she’s aware of how young she was and thinks it would be better if people waited until 18 to model. “You don’t really know what you look like at 13,” she says. “People say you’re perfect, and it sets an unrealistic expectation that you should stay that size.”
Modelling allowed Eva to invest in her passion, but she’s always been aware of how important it is to have interests unrelated to your appearance. “When you find something you love, you have to do it. Things happen.” It’s certainly worked for her: She mixes business with pleasure and never misses a beat.
Eva’s telling details
My guiltiest pleasure is… really corny dance music from the early to mid ’90s. Actually, I love corny music in general. That and beef jerky.
I wish I was better at… taking care of myself. I tend not to sleep and eat properly when I’m very focused on something.
People are surprised to hear… that I’m near-sighted, and I like it sometimes. It’s my own Instagram filter.
I wake up at night thinking about… I don’t really sleep at night too often, but when I do, I always wake up thinking of my career, an idea or something related to music.
I wish I had more time for… my family.
My perfect day is… I’d love to have a studio right on the beach. Wake up, go swimming, have a nice breakfast and then make music while watching the ocean.
Five things Eva can’t live without:
Baseball caps: “I like to wear them when I DJ because I’m naturally shy and I feel like I can hide a little bit behind one.”
Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Jungle Red: “The colour’s perfect, and because it’s a pencil, it stays on forever.”
Plaid shirts & lived-in denim: “I’m always mixing designer things with beaten-up men’s clothing.”
Laptop: “It’s pretty essential. I often go straight from a shoot to the plane to a club so I edit music en route.”
Tequila: “I drink tequila before I play. But in moderation: You need to be on for the next gig.”